Molly Kilete, Abuja
When Irene Torento Panas, a 40 year old Philippino lady, met a Nigerian man Chukwudi Odo, On Facebook, sometime in 2017, she thought she had met her Mr Right and bone of her flesh.
The two expectedly got along and fell head over shoulder in love and even looked forward to seal their conjugal blessings in the shortest possible time. Chukwudi, would not let her rest as he bombarded her with I love you talks and cannot do without you on a daily basis.
When the love got too hot, Irene, tried inviting her lover man to her country but he refused on the grounds that he did not have the financial capability and would not want to be a burden on her and asked her instead to come over.
Excited about the offer, the young lady not knowing all that glitters is not gold, concluded her traveling plans and visited her supposedly heartthrob in Nigeria.
She arrived the country though the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport where chukwudi was waiting for her, and took her straight to his village Enugu Ezike in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State and showed her the stuff he was made of.
First he dispossessed her of her International passport, stole all the money she came with, beat her mercilessly and raped her at will. Suddenly she discovered that her journey that was supposed to have lasted ten days ran into weeks, months and six months. Not knowing what to do, she endured the nightmare praying to God for help. During theses period, the ones beautiful, chubby, and happy woman became a scarecrow having lost so much weight and almost at the point of death.
Unknown to Chukwudi, the people of his village had been taking note of the drastic changes on the ones dashing and beautiful damsel defoliating and informed the police about their observation before the worst would happens. They reported the matter to police who immediately swung into action and arrested Chukwudi. Upon raiding his house, they found the woman in a very critical medical condition and rushed her to a hospital in the area where she spent about two weeks recuperating.
The police operatives attached to the Unity Police Division, Ibegwa Nike, Enugu State led by the DPO, SP Siga Malgwi, who carried out the operation, after taking Irene to the hospital during interrogation on the suspect got the shock of their lives during the interrogation and decided to inform the police force headquarters in Abuja about their findings.
Investigation by the police revealed that Chukwudi, deliberately lured the victim into the country with the aim of confining her, sexually abusing, and extorting money from her.
The suspects who was brought to Abuja and paraded before newsmen Monday claimed to be a media practitioner and talked arrogantly during his interview with journalists.
In this interview, Chukwudi, who said he is separated from his wife but not divorced speaks.
My name is Chukwudi Odo. I am 54, years old.
I read journalism at the institute of journalism Enugu and I also attended the Institute Of management technology where I studied technical education.
I met Irene on the Facebook on March 5, 2017. I chatted her, she responded and then we became friends and we became so familiar with each other, we were in touch on regular basis.
From 2017, to 2019. But before then we had agreed to marry each other and she was working in Dubai at that time and she told me to have patience with her until 2019 so that she will come and live with me in Nigeria or i have an option to come and live with her in her home in the Philippine. But I told her that for now, I will not leave my country to another country and I also told her about my financial handicap and being that we were in touch with one another despite the distance, she tried and send some money that will help to sustain us because I have a big farm so that when she comes, we can be sustaining from the farm after the little change that she came with must have been exhausted.
And that is exactly how we have been living. We have been living comfortably from that November 22, 2019, in my village when she flew into Nigerian through Nnamdi Azikiwe airport abuja.
I even wrote to the embassy of the Philippines acknowledging them of her arrival. So it happened that I have some minor land dispute with the people of Ndekuno, where I bought a land where I am residing of which she knows very well.
So during that period, she had constipation and then it was COVID-19, and I was planning to take her to the hospital.
I married her but I did not pay any bride price to anybody. I have not yet wedded her in the church or mosque or court we were on the process.
Before now I was married but I am separated from my wife we are not yet divorced because I dint go to court for that one.
On how he was arrested, he said
“Police did not arrest me, it was the village people who took me to the police station over the land matter. They also alleged that this my woman is sick and that I refuse to take her to the hospital. They came to my house on June 1, telling me to take her to Hospital, then I asked them how did you people know that she is sick and they started beating me on that day and I wanted to take her to Hospital on June 2 for pregnancy test.
When she came her visa was for one month but her ticket was for ten days but I kept her for six months. But she stayed longer with me because it was the agreement between me and her family. I knew her family through the social media”.
Police said Investigation was ongoing and that it has contacted Embassy of the Philippines in Nigeria with the hope of reuniting the victim with members of her family.